Poetic License – Albany

Poetic License – Albany

“Ekphrastic art” is defined as the response of an artist in one medium to a work of art by an artist in another medium. Its more common manifestation is in poetry written about visual art, e.g., paintings, photographs, drawings, sculpture. Poetic License – Albany is a project that turns that around, giving local visual artists an opportunity to respond to the work of poets.

Last year, inspired by a project created by the Poetry Barn in West Hurley, NY & the Arts Society of Kingston (ASK), we created our own version of this project which we called Poetic License – Albany. 113 individual poems were submitted by 62 poets; ultimately, 18 works of visual art were exhibited at the Art Associates Gallery & at Lark Hall in Albany, with 3 readings held in conjunction with the exhibits. 

Inspired by that success, the Hudson Valley Writers Guild & the Upstate Artists Guild are excited to work together again to present this opportunity in 2023 for collaboration between poets and visual artists in the Capital District.


We are looking for poems (or an excerpt from a longer poem) that are image-driven, that present a narrative or a written description containing images that arise from our senses, or as poet William Carlos Williams famously said, “No idea but in things.” The images can come from the “real world,” or the world of fantasy, from dreams, be in color or in black & white, but the writing should be such that makes the reader see, hear, smell, taste, feel, etc. what the poet experienced. Please note we are not looking for ekphrastic poems.

If selected, your poem will be displayed along with the artwork it inspires at an exhibit in September at a venue to be determined. The number of poems selected will be based upon the size of the venue and what it will be able to fit in, & not all work selected by the editors may be selected by an artist. See the Guidelines below, which will also be posted on the website of the Hudson Valley Writers Guild hvwg.org and on poeticlicensealbany.com


  • Poems must be no longer than 150 words, and no more than 25 lines long.
  • Poems will be considered whether they are previously published or unpublished work.
  • Send up to two (2) poems in the body of an email titled “2022 Poetic License – Albany”
  • Include your name, address, email address, and phone number in your email — no bio.
  • Send your email to dwlcx46@gmail.com by midnight, EST, on March 30, 2023.
  • Judges will be local poets & members of the Hudson Valley Writers Guild.
  • Please note: Your poem may be accepted by the editors but not selected by one of the artists.


In 2022, the first Poetic License gave local visual artists (Onna AdamsLucia Mabel SmithRebecca SchoonmakerDon Shore, Lisa Schweigert, Deborah Adams,Tina JohnstonKali EngelhardtMelissa Mansfield,Tom CorradoRoja EbrahimiNatasha PernickaAdam FurgangNina StanleyRobyn Diaz, and Katelyn Choiniere) an opportunity to respond to the work of local poets (Shawna NortonBessie Rose, Tom Corrado, Shirah PollockBarbara UngarLaura WhalenMegeen MulhollandCheryl A. RiceMike JurkovicLaura Lee LucasPhyllis CapelloRandall SutterJennifee, Brian ListonJill Crammond, and Charles Rossiter).

Click images below to view poem and art.


Join us for the opening reception on Friday, October 7, at 5:00 p.m. at Lark Hall to view these works of art coupled with the poems that inspired them.

Light refreshments will be available. Donations are appreciated with proceeds going to the gallery.